Sunday, October 20, 2013

Super Mario's late heroics seal victory for Bills


Last year, Mario Williams caught his fair share of criticism for his sack numbers early on.

This year, not so much.

Williams added two sacks to his then league-leading total Sunday, which included a game-saving hit and forced fumble on quarterback Ryan Tannehill late in the fourth quarter, and the Buffalo Bills picked up a key divisional win on the road against the Miami Dolphins.

With Tannehill and the Fins up by a point with less than three minutes to go, Williams took advantage of a questionable play call and was able to strip the quarterback as he dropped back at midfield. Teammate Kyle Williams fell on the ball, and Buffalo ran the clock down and got into field goal range for former Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter, who put the eventual game winner through the uprights from 31 yards out.

Buffalo running back Fred Jackson talked up the pass rusher to reporters following the victory, and his words of encouragement before the decisive play certainly seemed to help, as well.

"Anytime you have a guy like Mario, you know he’s going to make plays like that," Jackson said via "I was talking to him on the sideline and I said, 'This is your moment. Go make something happen for us.'

"Then they called a pass and with a guy like that, you have to be weary of where he is, and he was able to beat his guy and was able to get that sack/fumble and gave us an opportunity to win the football game."

This time last year, Williams had tallied only 3.5 sacks and was the focal point of Buffalo's struggles defensively. His two Sunday currently has him at 10 for the season and tied with Kansas City's Justin Houston for the league lead, which is his best start to date in his eight-year career.

For Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito — who earlier this month said housecleaning along the line will be necessary if the sack totals continue to rise — it was another disappointing end to a sub-par performance.

"That’s the most frustrating part, when you lose a game like that, that’s a tight ball game and you have so many mistakes and you’re still in it and then you have a mistake to end it," Incognito told reporters following the team's third straight loss. "It’s tough, that’s a tough loss. It’s a tough loss to a good division opponent."

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